Protect important animal protection rules

In the first days of the 115th Congress, lawmakers are poised to take up the so-called Midnight Rules Relief Act and the REINS Act, which both have the potential to undermine Presidential authority and set the stage for the elimination of popular and bipartisan rules. This potentially includes a profound impact on rules that implement animal protection laws and improve their enforcement.

The Midnight Rules Relief Act of 2017, H.R. 21, would amend the Congressional Review Act to allow disapproval of multiple regulations as a group that were finalized during the last year of a President’s term. Such action would prevent due consideration of the merits of individual regulations. For animal protection rules adopted during the Obama Administration, including in the final year of his term, most have been many years in the making, have elicited overwhelming numbers of favorable public comments, and have enjoyed strong, bipartisan congressional support.

The Regulations from the Executive in Need of Scrutiny (REINS) Act of 2017, H.R. 26, would require that both houses of Congress approve a major rule, with no alteration, within a 70-day window. If both chambers do not approve a major rule, it would not take effect and would not be eligible for reconsideration during that Congress. Which means, by doing nothing, Congress would prevent existing laws from being implemented, including common sense, non-controversial rules affecting animal welfare.

TAKE ACTION
Please make a brief, polite phone call to your U.S. Representative. You can say: "As someone who cares about animals, I urge you to reject the Midnight Rules Relief Act of 2017, H.R. 21, and the Regulations from the Executive in Need of Scrutiny (REINS) Act of 2017, H.R. 26, which could negate well-considered and broadly supported rules to implement and enforce animal protection laws." Look up your legislators' phone numbers.

Calling is so important. Please do not skip this crucial step. Then, personalize and submit the letter below to send a follow-up message.

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Your Message

Dear Legislator,

I am a constituent and I urge you to vote against the Midnight Rules Relief Act of 2017, H.R. 21, and the Regulations from the Executive in Need of Scrutiny (REINS) Act of 2017, H.R. 26, which both have the potential to undermine Presidential authority and set the stage for the elimination of popular and bipartisan rules, taking an ax to a circumstance that requires far more precision and a more merits-based analysis on rules. This potentially includes a profound impact on rules that implement animal protection laws and improve enforcement of them.

For animal protection rules adopted during the Obama Administration, including in the final year of his term, most have been many years in the making, have elicited overwhelming numbers of favorable public comments, and have enjoyed strong, bipartisan congressional support, such as the anti-horse soring rule and downer calf rule. The Midnight Rules Relief Act would prevent due consideration of the merits of these individual regulations.

Under the REINS Act, if both chambers are unable to swiftly approve a major rule, it would not take effect and would not be eligible for reconsideration during that Congress, which means that by doing nothing, Congress would prevent existing laws from being implemented effectively, including common sense, non-controversial rules affecting animal welfare. Congress already sets the boundaries for agency rulemaking, making the REINS Act needless and redundant. It is already the case that agencies can only exercise authority that has been delegated by Congress in authorizing legislation, and if agencies overstep their authority, judicial scrutiny can be invoked and agency actions can be reversed.


Sincerely,
[Your Name]
[Your Address]
[City, State ZIP]

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This action alert is for U.S. residents only. International advocates, please visit Humane Society International for ways you can take action for animals.

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